WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Edge of Venomverse #4
You know it's a good day when Wolverine does battle with a Venom-infused dinosaur - but it's a great one when both Old Man Logan and Captain America team up in their Venom identities. That's just the kind of lunacy and undeniably fun carnage cooked up as part of Marvel's Edge of Venomverse series, a prelude to what Marvel is hailing as the biggest, badddest Venom event to date. So far fans have seen X-23 merge with Venom, followed by Gwenpool, Ghost Rider, and now the original Wolverine himself.
It's all a prelude to the larger Venomverse event, in which various Venom-infected heroes from across the Marvel multiverse will join forces with Eddie Brock's original incarnation. They'll be tasked to take on something of a reverse Venom, but the introductions to these alternate-reality Marvel icons are still ongoing. In the case of our man Wolverine, the version in question is the one known as 'Old Man Logan.' To the unfamiliar, that's the older version of Wolverine from a dark future where America is a villain-controlled wasteland... and where he's got just as many villains as he usually tends to attract.
So when the Hulk-baby Logan raised as his own learns the truth in Edge of Venomverse #4 - that Logan killed his corrupted father, Dr. Bruce Banner - he sets out to join others who wish Wolverine dead. Unfortunately for them, the Venom symbiote knows a real warrior when it sees one.
Now to be specific, the mainline Marvel Comics Universe has spent the past several years with the Old Man Logan version of Wolverine alive and well in its continuity (while the 'real' Wolverine remains dead). Trips back to his original reality have come and gone, but it's best to leave that continuity at the door when it comes to setting up Venomverse. In this version of the story, Bruce Banner, Jr. gives his adopted father a beating when he learns that his father died at Logan's hand (raising Bruce as his own was mercy). And before long, he joins forces with Clint Barton's daughter, Ashley, and Warren Worthington a.k.a. Archangel.
All have a demand for revenge where Logan is concerned: Bruce wants revenge for his father, Ashley wants revenge for what Logan and Clint cost her criminal empire in the original series, and Warren wants to make Logan pay for killing the rest of their X-Men family (he's not buying the whole 'Red Skull made me do it' explanation). So once the trio has Logan captured back at Xavier Mansion, they reveal their method of execution is yet another old friend of the hero from his starring series: the Venom-infected T-Rex born of Marvel's Savage Land.
The dinosaur gave both Clint and Logan trouble on their race across America, but all things considered, Logan handles the surprise with grace. First, by feeding Ashley to the beast, and finally, by diving headfirst down its throat. A suicide move for most fighters... but then, Wolverine isn't most fighters...
The Venomverine is Born
Warren and Bruce bid farewell to their fallen friend in a heartbeat, ruling that Ashley's death is a small price to pay for killing Wolverine - intending to use his DNA to clone an army of Wolverines to make them kings of a new world. Apparently, neither has read many Wolverine comics, or they would know exactly what to expect when the Venom symbiote wrapping the Rex begins to 'slurp' its way down the creature's throat. Any curiosity about the transformation witnessed is answered when Wolverine bursts out of the dinosaur's belly - having merged with the Venom symbiote himself.
Needless to say, the rage Logan feels for the boy he raised trying to kill him - to avenge a cruel, monstrous father - is a good match for his new symbiotic partnership. Venom gives Logan all the motivation and encouragement he needs to let loose, and Wolverine is rejuvenated by with every metallic feather Archangel embeds in his body. Knives that, thanks to Venom's skills of invulnerability (and elasticity) send back to the source, impaling Warren with gusto. Which only leaves the question of Bruce Banner, Jr...
As strong as the Venom is, Logan's stronger. He stops short of killing Bruce, Jr. out of continued love for his father and the boy, and not a moment too soon. As the Venom subsides enough for Logan to tell his adopted son that he loves him, too, the portal opening behind him delivers a twist that Edge of Venomverse readers have come to expect:
Logan's dropped jaw is an understandable reaction to seeing Steve Rogers, fused with a Venom symbiote of his own and recreating his signature look in keeping with the black-and-white aesthetic Venom requires. It's true that recent comic developments have made the idea of a villainous, corrupted Captain America a lot less surprising than it used to be, but the moment is effective all the same. It's not the first time that Captain America has recruited a Wolverine to a Venom war, but it goes without saying that Logan is a power player in whatever team Steve is forming.
If it isn't clear from our earlier explanation of what each Edge of Venomverse issue is leading towards, Captain America is recruiting Venom-ized heroes to head to the presumed 'Venomverse.' An alternate reality where villains known as The Poisons are hunting Venom to extinction, and the symbiotes have made hosts of Cap, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Black Panther, Rocket Raccoon, and Deadpool for survival. We don't know much about The Poisons just yet, but we like those odds.
Only one issue remains in the five-part Edge of Venomverse prelude, leaving only Wade Wilson to be merged with Venom before Cap comes calling. We'll keep you informed on that story's inevitably bonkers twists and turns, but for now, has Marvel gotten your attention with the coming Venomverse? Or is an all-out, all-Venom war not your cup of tea?
Edge of Venomverse #4 is available now.